WJBD - Obituaries

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Barbara W. Claus - 6/18/2016

Barbara W. Claus

Barbara W. Claus, age 92, of Mount Vernon, Illinois passed away Thursday, May 12, 2016 at her home in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Barbara was a homemaker for 23 years and an elementary teacher for 14 years. She was raised in Granville, Illinois in the country on Silverspoon Road. She attended Hopkins High School for 2 years and graduated from LaSalle-Peru High in 1941 and Carleton College of Northfield, Minnesota in 1945. She spent a summer session during the war years at the University of Wisconsin and another at Iowa State University. On July 21, 1945, she married Ralph H. Claus of the United States Army and they established a home in Ottawa, Illinois the following year. It remained their permanent residence for 58 years. Barbara served many community organizations in her lifetime, including the local tennis club, president of the PTA at the public school, Community Concerts, Illinois Valley Symphony, Camp Fire Girls, and a very active member of United Methodist Church in Ottawa involved in various activities in the church. She organized and directed as a volunteer the first three years of swim teams at the new YMCA. She served a term on the Reddick’s Library Board. After her children left home, Barbara returned to Northern Illinois University to become fully certified to teach elementary school. She taught for fourteen years at Deer Park School when Ralph retired from work at the First National Bank in Ottawa. Barbara and Ralph did some travel, but settled on a winter residency in Punta Gorda, Florida so Barbara could play on tennis teams and work as a volunteer one full day a week at the Sallie Jones public school. She was a member of the Ottawa Boat Club, Community Hospital Reddick Mansion Society, LaSalle County Genealogy Guild, Putnam County Historical Society, Burnt Store Presbyterian Church of Punta Gorda, Florida, Monday Club and PEO, United Church of Christ of Ottawa, Illinois, and Logan Street Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, Illinois. In 2003, she moved to Mount Vernon, Illinois to be near her daughter and family. She enjoyed watching her grandchildren participate in sports, school, and church. 

In honor of Ms. Claus' wishes she will be cremated and a Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 A.M. Saturday June 18, 2016 at United Church of Christ in Ottawa, Illinois.  Interment of ashes at Ottawa Avenue Cemetery in Ottawa, Illinois.  For those who wish, memorials may be given Cedarhurst Center for the Arts and Logan Street Baptist Chruch and can be mailed to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, Mount Vernon, Illinois 62864.  Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call (618) 242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfh.com for further information and to send condolences.

Barbara Claus is survived by her son - John F. Claus and wife Judith Hyman of Ithaca, New York;  daughter - Sally Gessner and husband Todd of Mount Vernon, Illinois;  2 grandchildren -Brant Gessner and wife Jamie of Atlanta, Georgia, Heather Owens and husband Jason of Mount Vernon, Illinois;  6 great grandchildren - Hannah and Evan Owens, Ella, Anna, Jackson, and Samuel Gessner;  special caregiver - Cathlene Boykin of Mount Vernon, Illinois;  several nieces and nephews also survive.
Barbara Claus was born Tuesday, August 7, 1923 in Granville, Illinois daughter of John H., Sr. and Barbara (Haws) Whitaker.  Her parents, husband, and one brother: John H. Whitaker, Jr. preceded her in death.

Charles Avery Mc Crary, Jr. - 6/6/2016

Charles Avery Mc Crary, Jr.

Charles Avery Mc Crary, Jr., age 94, passed away Saturday May 21, 2016. Honorably discharged from the Army of the United States January 15, 1946, after serving Battles and Campaigns in China, India, and Burma. He had received numerous Decorations and Citations for his service and truly enjoyed sharing many impressive stories of his experiences.  Proudly retired from Prairie Farms as a top salesman and Sales Manager, very often recounting all his father (his idol) taught him in his early years, particularly about customer service.  His retirement years were spent between Central Illinois and Sun Lakes, Arizona.

Graveside Services for Mr. Mc Crary will be 12:01 p.m. Monday, June 6, 2016 at the Hillcrest Memorial Park in Centralia with Pastor Terry O' Brien officiating. Friends may call at time of services at the cemetery. Military rites will be accorded by V.F.W.Post #2055 and American Legion Post #446. On-line condolences and memories of Charles may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com or on Facebook.

Survived by his devoted and loving friend and wife Irena (Preiksaitis) Mc Crary, his adored stepdaughter Dana (Ray) Romito, and step grandchildren Renee (John) Crawford, Nicholas and Anthony Romito.

He was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Thelma, Sister Delores, and son James.

Marvin Eugene "Gene" Harris - 6/1/2016

Marvin Eugene "Gene" Harris

Marvin Eugene "Gene" Harris, 75, of Mt. Vernon, passed away peacefully on May 24, 2016, at Nature Trail Health Care Center, in Mt. Vernon.  Mr. Harris graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School and received a degree from Mt. Vernon Junior College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  He served in the United States Air Force for 4 years, and received many awards.  He taught in many of the local area schools, and helped open Ford Square of Mt. Vernon.  He was the General Manager of King City Chrysler, where he retired after 21 years.  He enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, Golf, and Auto Racing.

In accordance with Mr. Harris' wishes, cremation rites have been accorded, and a Graveside Memorial Service will be held at Zion Grove Cemetery on June 1, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., with Rick Allison officiating.  Military Rites will be accorded by American Legion, Post #141, of Mt. Vernon.  Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, or to the Shriners Hospital for Children, and will be accepted at the service, or by mail to the Osborn Funeral Home, P.O. Box 130, Dix, Illinois 62830.  Online condolences may be made at www.osbornfuneral.com, or on the funeral home's Facebook page.

On May 29, 1969, in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, he married Betty JoAnn Matlock, and she survives in Mt. Vernon.  In addition to his wife, JoAnn Harris, he is survived by two children, Joy Kingsley and husband Bert of Kell, and Mark Metje and wife Melodie of Jackson, Missouri;  Four grandchildren, Ashley Metje of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Kylee Gobin and husband Drew of Benton, Kentucky, Kristen Booher and husband Alan of Salem, and Audra Nix and husband Kyle of Salem;  Five great grandchildren, whom he loved dearly, Halle, Colton, Kellen, Owen, and Savannah;  one sister, Janice Moore and special friend Thomas Muchowski of Wilmington, Illinois;  two nephews, Byron and Deb Moore, and Mike and Nonnie Moore, of Wilmington, Illinois;  special cousin, Loyd Harris and wife Dawn; Two great nieces, Kelli and Kerri Moore; and one great nephew, Logan Moore.

Marvin Eugene "Gene" Harris was born October 7, 1940, in Naylor, Missouri, the son of Elmer and Agnes (Johnson) Harris.  He was preceded in death by his parents, and special cousin Fred Harris.

William Andrew "Bill" Milam - 5/30/2016

William Andrew "Bill" Milam

William Andrew "Bill" Milam, 66, of Salem, IL died May 24, 2016 at his home in the loving care of his wife and family.  Bill was a financial consultant for Roosevelt Equity.  He attended SEMO. He was member of Grace United Methodist Church in Salem.  While attending SCHS, he coached minor league ball.  He was die hard Illini and Cardinal fan.  Bill had served on the Marion County Board, was a precinct committeeman, was President of South Central Transit and the Marion County Housing Authority board.  His memberships included the Salem Country Club, a member and trustee of the Salem Elks Club, and co-chaired the Jack Ass Open for 6 years.  He was also secretary of The Man Shed, and the Monday Gossip Girls of '67.  Along with his wife Gerrie, they were Cinderella and Prince Charming for the Hospital Relay for Life event and Santa and Mrs. Claus for the Salem Community Theatre and Cultural Center.

Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M., Monday May 30, at the Grace United Methodist Church  with Rev. Mike Ebersohl officiating.  Burial will  follow in the Paradise Cemetery in Salem.  Visiting hours will be from 4-9:00 P.M. Sunday at the Grace United Methodist Church and from 10:00 A.M. until the service hour on Monday.  Memorials have been requested to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, the Celtic Hospice or to the Salem Township Hospital Foundation and will be received by the Rankin Funeral Home who is in charge of arrangements.

On September 5, 1998, he married Geraldine M. "Gerrie" Gilomen at St. Patrick's Church in East St. Louis, and she survives in Salem.  Also surviving is his son Seth Milam, his mother Kate Renshaw and Seth's brother, Dana Milam Renshaw, all of Carbondale; his daughter Arcena Thomas and husband Brett, along with her mother Kathy Nixon and husband Terry of Kissimmee, FL and his step-son, Chris Gilomen of Carterville, along with grandchildren Sophie Thomas and Blake Gilomen.  Other survivors include his sister Beverly Taylor and husband Roger of Oakbrook, along with brothers and sisters-in-law, Patsie Benhoff and husband Matthew of St. Rose, Michael Gilomen and wife Jean of Highland, Randy Gilomen of St. Jacob, and Duane Gilomen and friend Laurie of Troy.  Also a former sister-in-law Cathy Gilomen of St. Jacob along with many nieces and nephews.

Born September 4, 1949 in Hillsboro, he was the son of Kenneth and Neva A. (Anderson) Milam who preceded him in death.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Barbara Milam Wakefield.

Vern "Gale" Southerd - 5/29/2016

Vern "Gale" Southerd

Vern "Gale" Southerd, 79, of Mt. Vernon, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at the Marion VA Community Living Center, in Marion. Gale attended Forest Hill School.  He served in the United States Army, and worked for Precision National prior to his retirement.  He was a member of Logan Street Baptist Church.  In his free time, he enjoyed fishing, woodworking, refurbishing tractors, and dancing.  He loved spending time with his two daughters, and his grandchildren, who loved hearing his sound advice.

Funeral Services for Mr. Southerd will be held Sunday, May 29, 2016, at 2:00 p.m., at the Osborn Funeral Home in Dix, with Pastor Ron Trotter officiating.  Burial will follow at Boyd Cemetery.  Visitation will be held Saturday, May 28, 2016, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the funeral home.  Memorial gifts may be made to the American Cancer Society, or to the Marion VA Community Living Center, and will be accepted at the service, or by mail to the Osborn Funeral Home, P.O. Box 130, Dix, Illinois 62830.  Online condolences may be made at www.osbornfuneral.com, or on the funeral home's Facebook page. 

Vern "Gale" Southerd is survived by two daughters, Sharon Thomas and husband Robert of Mt. Vernon, and Carol Riggs and husband Mike of Centralia;  one step-son, Billy Beckham and wife Crystal of Mt. Vernon;  seven grandchildren, Michael Riggs, Christopher Riggs, Mark Riggs, Cassandra Caldwell and husband Michael, Amanda Matthews and husband Joshua, Charity Garbo and husband James, and Phillip and Cindy Thomas; twenty great grandchildren;  two brothers, Dale Southerd and wife Judy of Kentucky, and Rev. Bob Southerd and wife Betty of Texico;  two sisters, Fern Bullock of McLeansboro, and Nita Bea Tindall of Belvidere, Illinois;  and many nieces and nephews.  

Vern "Gale" Southerd was born June 9, 1936, in Mt. Vernon, the son of Charles and Agnes (Rote) Southerd.  In 1955, he married Zelah Robinson in New Buffalo, Michigan, and she preceded him in death.  He later married Betty Meadows in 1978, in Mt. Vernon, and she preceded him in death in 2005.  He was preceded in death by his parents;  his wives;  two daughters, Sherry Southerd and Mary Southerd;  one son, Gary Southerd;  one step-daughter, Sue Cox;  three brothers, Edward Southerd, Harlan Southerd, and Charles Southerd;  and three sisters, Eleanor Cralley, Mary Spackey, and Dora Colledge.

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